Sunny, but still cool outside because of the time of day, 6:30 a.m., and I was enjoying my plain coffee with a friend whose Starbucks order of double expresso plus plus was just impossible to memorize.
I met this friend years ago at a Toastmaster conference, he was competing in a speech contest and I mic’d him along with the other contestants. He didn’t win that year, but he was infected.
He was infected with a desire to win, to practice, to study, and to learn how to give award winning speeches, and to win!. To this end, he worked, travelled to study with the more experienced and gave speeches, and more speeches.
Two years ago at a District 21 fall conference, he did it, he won first place and was invited to travel to Las Vegas and compete against District winners from all over the world. My friend simply glows when he talks about the week he had in Las Vegas. He gave speeches, he met contest winners, he received advice and helpful gifts (feedback) but didn’t win.
He thinks he did win though because the experience changed him, it was so much fun. He works more and more on his speechcraft now and helps others grow and better themselves for free at every opportunity.
My friend is young at heart, young in energy, young in enthusiasm and passion but has a few grey hairs that somehow enhance his boyish grin.
“Dave, my only regret is that I didn’t discover Toastmasters earlier in life. I wish I had known sooner, found Toastmasters sooner.”
Those words struck home. He is having a blast, doing something he loves and interacting with others, making and renewing friendships almost daily through his discovering of Toastmasters.
What if he had passed when invited to be a guest at a Toastmaster meeting? All of the richness would have missed him.
It may be Toastmasters, or it may be something else but we all have regrets, at least one. Is there a holiday, an experience, a place in the world, a food – anything you have the vision to experience – start the steps to realization so those words “My only regret is that I had *** sooner,” are not your words.”
Good luck to you reader for discovering your passion, your zest in life and dodging life’s regrets.
Thanks for reading, I hope you will let me know what you like about my blog posts. If you want to learn about Toastmasters by being a guest (they are everywhere) – Click Here. Guests are free for a meeting.
As a treat – I will add a speech from an international conference – enjoy!